Racial Justice

Racial Justice Imperative

It’s a fact: racism continues to shape lives in the 21st century. It is part of our history as a community and a nation. Understanding racism – its construction, its impact, and our respective roles in dismantling it – engages us to create a different world, one without racism.

When there is racial justice, a person’s racial identity is no longer a reliable predictor of life outcomes. Racial justice means racial disparities in health, education, employment, housing, and criminal justice are eliminated. Eliminating racism and empowering women is the mission of the YWCA.

Our Racial Justice Initiatives

Inside the YWCA, we apply a racial justice lens to all our work.

  • Head Start and Early Head Start centers pay attention to how educational inequities can start early in life. Parents and staff members of our centers learn about racial identity formation in children and how racial equity issues affect family employment, housing, health, and other dynamics.
  • Educating about and responding to domestic violence and sexual assault, our staff is informed about the impacts of race in healthcare, policing, courts and other systems with which they interact.
Community Racial Justice Initiatives

All programs set up and facilitated from St. Louis and for other YWCAs will experience no charges, however, there might be certain circumstances where fees will apply.

  • Witnessing Whiteness – Facilitated group book study and dialogue for people who identify as white to learn about the construction of white identity and culture, white supremacy and privilege. Groups begin each year in January – February and again in August – September and meet bi-weekly over 20 weeks. Read more…
  • 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge – This daily challenge in partnership* with St. Louis County Library asks participants to make daily time and space to foster understanding and identify ways to dismantle racism and end discrimination.
  • Community Presentation – We promote racial justice and civil rights every place and anytime we can. Interactive presentations, media and other resources will help your group or organization to communicate and work effectively across differences.
  • Until Justice Just Is – This signature event of YWCA USA builds community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities.
  • Intersectional Liberation – “Peace, justice, freedom, and the dignity for all people” is part of the YWCA mission statement. It is impossible to separate out the effects of racism from the way that other identities (gender, age, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, to name few) impact our lives. Our identities intersect and so too does our work for equity.
Contracted Racial Justice Services

Customized Consultations and Presentations

From “Diversity 101” to more customized approaches to racial justice, the YWCA will work with you to design and deliver half-day, full-day, or multiple sessions. Grow the capacity of your staff to think about race and apply a racial equity lens to decision-making processes. Align and accelerate your racial equity work. Learn how to develop performance goals at both the individual and organizational levels. Create an organizational culture based on best-practices and evidence-based solutions.

Fees for services are negotiated on a per project basis. For information, contact Mary Ferguson at mferguson@ywcastlouis.org.

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